Canine tooth gives back lost vision to patients
A general notion is that teeth are nothing more than but a tool to chew food and occasional bite someone. But there is more to teeth than just this age old primitive function. They can be a life saver in terms of bringing back a damaged organ like an eye. Yes that is true and the technique to do so is quite innovative as it uses body’s inherent function to make an eye that is fully capable of seeing just as a normal eye would do. Medical science has made many advancements and we have some of the greatest examples of how your tooth can give second life to people with lost vision using an innovative surgical technique.
# The Day I Got My Sight Back
In a strange yet exciting development for medical science, a 42 year old British man who goes by the name Ian Tibbetts got his vision back using a procedure called Osteo Odonto Kerato Prosthetsis (OOKP) that was developed in Italy in 1960s, where his own tooth got removed and then a small lens is fitted inside the tooth with a hole drilled in the enamel. Then in the next process the tooth is implanted on the inside of patient’s cheek for four months so that blood vessels and inner mucosal lining can grow. After than using OOKP surgery the tooth is implanted on the eye.
Problems started for Tibbetts in his early days of life as he kept on losing vision in one eye as years passed to the point where it almost disappeared. He never saw the faces of his kids and tried a lot of operations and surgeries but with no result. Then he decided to go for this kind of surgery and thankfully thinks got back on track. BBC even produced a documentary on Tibbetts surgery called The Day I Got My Sight Back that you can see in the video below.
# Father Son tooth connection
Similarly a few years back a father got back his vision with the help of his son’s tooth. Not that his son bit him in some mysterious way or anything, but the canine tooth of his son was implanted in the eye to revive the lost vision back to normal. Rob McNichol aged 57 was blinded in an accident at office when liquid aluminum exploded in his face in November 2005. The only solution was to fit a healthy tooth inside the eye using Osteo Odonto Kerato Prosthetsis (OOKP) with optical cylinder.
Since the canine tooth had to be from a young donor therefore all of his kids were willing to part away with their tooth so that their father could see properly again. But in the end it was Mr McNichol jnr. who got the chance to donate his father his canine tooth. Both father and son went under the surgeon’s knife for the surgery and although there was only 64% chance of the surgery being successful, in the end things turned bright as the big guy got his vision back. Since the surgery had visual cosmetic therefore Rob McNichol looks like a terminator, but that is ok with him as long as he can see clearly anomalies in spite of costing him €40,000.
# Smart tooth sensor
The tooth themselves are getting a touch of high-end technology as Scientists at National Taiwan University in Japan have developed a WiFi enabled smart chip that can be fitted inside the tooth itself to track mouth activity and get a preemptive view of how person’s eating habits could make them susceptible to tooth ailments.
# Teeth controlled WiFi music player
On the other end of the globe in Washington, researchers are making a wireless music player that is controlled by teeth’s biting motion. The Split Earbuds use near-field radio signal to sync and accelerometer to control track toggling or volume control. For example one bite is for changing the track and the two bites are for toggling the volume.